World Suicide Prevention Day 2023: Creating Hope Through Action

September 10, 2023

Suicide is a pressing global public health issue, inflicting profound societal, emotional, and economic repercussions. With an estimated 700,000 suicides occurring annually worldwide, the ripple effects of each tragic act are felt by countless individuals.

The triennial theme for World Suicide Prevention Day spanning 2021-2023, “Creating Hope Through Action,” stands as a compelling call to arms. It reminds us that there exists an alternative to suicide, and it is through our collective actions that we can kindle hope and reinforce prevention efforts.

By instilling hope through our actions, we send a vital message to those grappling with suicidal thoughts – that there is hope, that we care deeply, and that we stand ready to support them. This theme underscores that our deeds, regardless of their magnitude, possess the potential to infuse hope into the lives of those in turmoil.

Furthermore, it serves as an urgent reminder that suicide prevention stands as a paramount public health concern, necessitating swift, concerted measures to curtail suicide rates. The World Health Organization (WHO) remains dedicated to collaborating with its partners, assisting countries in implementing tangible strategies to combat this crisis.

5 Effective Ways to Seek Assistance

Asking for help during moments of struggle is often an arduous endeavor. Vulnerability can be difficult to admit, and articulating our fears becomes especially challenging when our support network is limited. This guide offers several approaches for reaching out when confronting hardship, irrespective of its nature.

1. “I find it hard to express, but I’ve been grappling with difficulties lately and could use your support.” This straightforward approach, though earnest, doesn’t create unnecessary confrontation. It is well-suited for caregivers and individuals with whom you share a close bond but who may not be well-versed in mental health discourse. It acknowledges the challenge of finding the right words while fostering open communication.

2. “We may not interact frequently, but I trust you, and I want you to know that I’m facing mental health challenges. Can you lend me your support?” This approach proves invaluable when you lack immediate allies willing to assist you. Close friends and family may not be accessible to everyone, but this shouldn’t hinder you from seeking help. Consider employing this tactic with teachers, classmates, or coworkers; the results may surprise you.

3. “I can’t pinpoint what’s wrong, but I would greatly appreciate any assistance in improving my emotional state.” Living with a mental illness, particularly mood disorders like depression, can entail an inability to decipher the root cause of emotional distress. This is common among teenagers or those with emotional dysregulation. When the source of your distress eludes you, it can be daunting to request help. However, this should not deter you. Precede your request with “I can’t explain why I feel this way” to focus on receiving support rather than determining its exact nature.

4. “I’m uncertain about my needs, but I don’t want to face this alone right now. Can you stay with me?” Even when you understand the source of your distress, you may remain uncertain about the specific actions required to alleviate it. Mastery of this skill develops over time, and as we grapple with challenges, we become better equipped to manage them. Nevertheless, in the short term, do not hesitate to express your need for assistance, even if you’re uncertain about the precise nature of that assistance. Those who truly care will offer suggestions and help you identify your needs.

5. “I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but my situation has deteriorated significantly, and I’m not seeing improvement. I urgently require assistance. What should I do?” Most of us tend to downplay our struggles, often pretending that everything is fine. Even when help is desperately needed, it can be daunting to convey the gravity of the situation, particularly if it is dire or time-sensitive. Trust your instincts when you feel you’re nearing a breaking point – reach out for help. Your inner voice knows when it’s time to sound the alarm, and it’s doing so for a reason. Have faith in it.

Seeking help, even when challenging or unclear, is imperative for personal well-being. It’s a skill, much like any other, that can be cultivated and refined over time. Moreover, the significance of seeking help extends beyond mental health – our friendships and support networks thrive on mutual aid. Just as we seek assistance when needed, we must also check in with others to discern their needs. Remember: vulnerability is a wellspring of strength, not weakness, and asking for help can be one of the bravest actions we undertake for ourselves.

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